Ethics Code


The Ethics Code is a set of six core principles underpinning life at LSE. All members of the LSE community, including students, staff and governors, are expected to behave in line with the Ethics Code principles.

The Code sets out how the School upholds the commitments and details the policies which support this.  The purpose of the Code is also to explain what each of the principles mean and how they should be applied in practice by members of the LSE community. 

Our student animation is designed to explore the Ethics Code in relation to the experience of students here at the School.

 We also have a One Minute Guide to Ethics at the School with key information and links.

The whole LSE community, including all staff, students, and members of court, are expected to act to the highest standards of ethical integrity in accordance with the ethical principles set out in this Code:  

  • Responsibility and Accountability 
  • Integrity
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Equality of Respect and Opportunity
  • Collegiality
  • Sustainability 

Council, Academic Board, their subsidiary committees, and the management of the School are responsible for the promotion, implementation, and application of the Code. 

Ethical Guidelines

It is impossible to devise a single set of rules to resolve every ethical dilemma which members of the LSE community may face. Instead, the principles in the Ethics Code should guide the exercise of judgement in individual cases. The following guidelines provide further information on how each principle should apply in practice, and lists some of the policies and procedures which can be referred to address ethical issues.

Decision making step-by-step

Three simple steps should be followed to identify and resolve the ethical implications of individual decisions and actions: 

1) Consider whether what you plan to do is compatible with the principles in the Ethics Code. Further guidance is often available from existing policies, listed here. 

2) Ask yourself how you would explain your actions if you had to justify them to close friends and family, or if they were on the front page of a newspaper. What would be the impact on your reputation, or that of the School? How would you feel about asking someone else to do what you are proposing to do? 

3) Seek advice from an appropriate person, such as a colleague or line manager, or one of the School committees tasked with handling ethical matters. Specific committees handle research ethics (Research Ethics Committee) and the ethics of receiving external grants and donations (Ethics (Grants and Donations) Panel), while the Ethics Committee will consider dilemmas of particular difficulty where principles may conflict.  

Where possible, keep a record of your decision making and the rationale behind it. 

For further information please contact: or call 020 7955 7975 Links to all the documents listed are available online:


The Principles

The principles set out in this Code should be taken into account when making decisions at all levels of the School. 

Principle 1: Responsibility and Accountability

In order to uphold our commitment to responsibility and accountability, we will:

1.1. Embed the principle of individual responsibility at every level of the School’s management and governance structures.

1.2. Raise concerns relating to ethical matters as they arise.

Further information:

Principle 2: Integrity

In order to uphold our commitment to integrity, we will:

1.1. Be honest and truthful.

1.2. Act in accordance with all relevant legislation and statutory requirements.

1.3. Declare interests and appropriately manage possible conflicts.

1.4. Be transparent and consistent in our decision making.

1.5. Maintain our independence in engaging with outside parties.

1.6. Conduct fundraising activities in line with the principles set out in the Ethics Code.

Further information:

Principle 3: Intellectual Freedom

In order to uphold our commitment to intellectual freedom, we will:

1.1. Protect individuals’ freedom of expression.

1.2. Uphold the freedom to research and convey research findings.

Further information:

Principle 4: Equality of Respect and Opportunity

In order to uphold our commitment to advancing equality of respect and opportunity, we will treat all people with (equal) dignity and respect and ensure that no person will be treated less favourably because of their role at the School, age, disability, gender (including gender identity), ethnicity and race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and social and economic background.

Further information:

Principle 5: Collegiality

In order to uphold our commitment to collegiality, we will promote within the School an inclusive and participatory working and social environment in which we encourage, support and behave appropriately to one another.

Further information:

Principle 6: Sustainability

In order to uphold our commitment to sustainability, we will:

6.1 Education - Embed sustainability in our teaching and learning experiences. 

6.2 Research - Shape the global sustainability debate through our research. 

6.3 Engagement and Leadership - Deepen public discussion on sustainability across the world. 

6.4 Investment - Make sustainability a key part of our investment decisions. 

6.5 Collaboration - Work in partnership within LSE and externally. 

6.6 Our School - Become net-zero carbon and reduce our environmental impacts. 

Further information: